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The Rachel Maddow Show

News/Business. (2012)

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Romney 11, Us 8, America 7, London 7, Minnesota 5, Washington 5, George W. Bush 5, Ezra 5, Obama Administration 5, Nra 4, Msnbc 4, Mitt Romney 4, Draghi 3, Iraq 3, Obama 3, Virginia 3, Spain 3, Afghanistan 2, Rachel 2, Mario Draghi 2,
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  MSNBC    The Rachel Maddow Show    News/Business.  (2012)  

    July 27, 2012
    1:00 - 2:00am PDT  

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rachel tonight. always good to see you, ezra. >> good to see you too, michael. thank you very much. and thank you to you at home for stick around for the next hour. rachel has the night off tonight. let's just be honest here. today, july 26th, 2012, was a terrible, tonight. let's be honest here, july 26, 2012 was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day to be mitt romney. even if you consider yourself the staunchest mitt romney supporter out there, i think you have to admit today didn't go exactly according to plan. the kickoff of mitt romney's overseas trip has kind of been a disaster. here's a lead paragraph tonight, in "the telegraph" newspaper -- "mitt romney is perhaps the only politician who could start a trip that was supposed to be a charm offensive by being utterly devoid of charm and mildly offensive." it's been a bad day for mitt romney, a bad day that all began with this seemingly innocuous comment about the london olympics that he made to our very own brian williams last night.
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>> in the short time you've been here in london, do they look ready to your experienced eye? >> you know, it's hard to know just how well it will turn out. there were a few things that were disconcerting, the stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials. that, obviously, is not something which is encouraging. >> wrong answer. i mean, not wrong exactly, i think he's probably right in the substance. there have been legitimate concerns raised about security, the organization, all of that. but wrong answer when the purpose of your trip is to make the people holding the olympics like you. that comment from mitt romney on his maiden voyage overseas set off a bet of a feeding frenzy in the uk, and leading the charge was a man that mr. romney was there to charm in the first place, british prime minister david cameron. >> we are holding an olympic games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. of course, it's easier if you hold an olympic games in the middle of nowhere.
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>> in the middle of nowhere. i think the term you're looking for there is holy snap. mitt romney's comments stirred up such anger in london today that he was forced to publicly walk back his remarks in a press conference on downing street later in the day, but the damage was done. . earlier tonight in front of a crowd of 60,000 people in london's hyde park, here's how london mayor boris johnson addressed the crowd. >> there are some people coming here from around the world who don't yet know about all the preparations we've done to get london ready in the last seven years. i hear there's a guy called mitt romney who wants to know whether we're ready. he wants to know whether we're ready. are we ready? are we ready? yes, we are! >> i hear there's a guy called mitt romney. it wasn't just mitt romney's comments about the preparedness of the city of london that got him into trouble today. it was a series of gaffes he
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committed during his fit first full day overseas. after meeting with prime minister david cameron, romney then met privately with england's opposition leader ed miliband. the only part that's bad, the whole part of it. "during a meeting with mr. miliband at westminster, he made another gaffe, as he didn't know who the labor party chief was, and instead addressed him as mr. leader." so that was strike two. a little earlier in the day as romney was addressing the british press corps, romney let out this little doozy. >> i appreciate the insights and perspectives of the leaders of the government here and opposition here as well as the head of mi-6. >> mi-6, you say? mi-6 is like britain's cia, but more so, what james bond belongs to in the books. and the thing about mi-6 is you don't talk about mi-6.
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here's how that was reported in "the guardian" newspaper. "for american readership, this is not like bragging, the british take on the national secret intelligence service comes with an extra-heavy dollop of the whole secret thing. the whole existence of mi-6 wasn't acknowledged until 1994." so, yeah, whoops. there was an entire mean created on twitter today under the hash tag "romney shambles." here's how it was summed up from "the daily mail" white hall, "serious dismay in whitehall at romney debut, worse than sarah palin, total car crash" ouch. two of the kinder verdicts. #romneyshambles. so, this was not a good day to be mitt romney. but you know, as bad as the reaction was to mr. romney's comments about the olympics during that interview with nbc last night, i actually think there's one answer he gave that has been sort of lost in all the coverage but that in the long
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run in this election is going to matter much, much more. did you happen to see this part? >> let's talk about domestic, the economy, before we wrap things up. the major planks of your job plan lower taxes, both corporate and marginal rates, and reduce regulation. explain how that would be different from what george w. bush tried to push through. >> well, let me describe, actually, there are five things that i believe are necessary to get this economy going. one, take advantage of our energy resources, particularly natural gas, but also coal, oil, nuclear, renewables. that's number one. number two, trade. i want to dramatically increase trade, and particularly with latin america. number three, take action to get america on track to have a balanced budget. now, those three things, by the way are things which we have not been doing over the last few years which i think are essential to getting this economy going again. number four, we've got to show better training and education
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opportunities for our current workers and for coming workers. and then finally, what i call restoring economic freedom. that means keep our taxes as low as possible, have regulations modern and up to date, get health care costs down. these things will restore economic freedom. >> so, how is it that different from what george w. bush tried to push through? it is not. it is not different from what george w. bush tried to push through. lower taxes, fewer regulations, more domestic energy production, promises of deficit reduction that are overwhelmed by increased defense spending and reduced tax revenues and panting rhetoric about economic freedom pretty much defined the bush administration's economic policy. and how did that economic policy work out? it was a disaster. this graph is by david leon hart of the "the new york times." it looks at five-year growth periods since 1955. the two periods that span the bush years are '01 to oectionz
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06 and 2010, coming in dead last. the jobs graph was much better. this graph from the center for american progress compares job growth under bush's business cycle and under the preceding business cycles and gives bush a handicap. it doesn't count '08 when the financial crisis and recession begin. but even with the handicap, the bush years again perform poorly. you see them there on the right? they're the small bars. and note that the graph, again, it ends before the financial crisis, a financial crisis that is at least partially attributable to the let the banks do whatever they want, they would never crash the financial system, would they, attitude towards the administration that dominated during the bush, and to be fair, during the clinton years. once you add that in, bush has the worst record since herbert hoover. every measure we might want to track jobs growth, median household income growth, poverty, insurance, new firm creation, participation in the labor force, every one goes in the wrong direction. and yet, romney can't explain
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how his policies differ. one of my frustrations with campaign coverage is there's a tendency to look at real failings, substantive deficiencies in ideas as political problems. so, this gets talked about as a messaging issue. romney needs a better answer to the question of how do you differ from george w. bush. it is not a messaging problem. romney doesn't need a better answer to how are your policies different than bush's, he needs policies that are actually different, that actually take the lessons of the last decade into account. as "new york" magazine's jonathan shate writes, romney's answer "indicates a larger problem. republicans have not really internalized the degree to which bush's policies truly failed to produce strong economic growth. they blame him for letting spending grow too high and they recognize the crash was a bad thing, but conservative rhetoric almost uniformly fails to acknowledge that even precrash
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grow growth," even before the crash, "growth under bush was absolutely miserable." it also almost uniformly fails to acknowledge that we live in a world today completely reshaped by the 2008 financial crisis. these last few years have been extraordinary economic years. we have been through, and in some ways are still trapped in a once in a many generation economic storm, and nothing in romney's agenda is responsive to that fact. that is what amazes me. there is no new thinking here, nothing a republican in 2007 or 2005 or 1999 or 1991 could have proposed. romney's like a doctor looking at a patient with acute pneumonia and prescribing, as always during physicals, diet and exercise. might be good advice, probably is, even, but we need more than that right now. the one exception here is romney's pledge to roll back the dodd/frank wall street reform law, which is to say to return policy to something more like what it was before the financial crisis. it's like the opposite of new
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thinking. in this case, the obama campaign is actually a telling contrast. think back to obama's 2008 campaign. what did he run on? getting out of iraq was a big part of it, but his big domestic ideas were long-term, a health care plan, a middle class tax cut, a plan to cut carb emissions, immigration reform, and he promised all of it would be paid for, because in an expansionary period, we had to get deficits down. we wouldn't keep growing deficits while we were growing, right? but by the time he had entered office, the economy began to collapse, and this is really the key part here. his policies changed. it's not that he didn't support the other stuff or that he didn't try to pass it. in fact, he did pass health care reform, but his first initiative was a massive deficit finance stimulus bill. by the way, before he got into office, he helped pass the second tranche of the t.a.r.p. bill, too. this year, his campaign's biggest idea is the american jobs act, which combines big but
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temporary tax cuts for workers and small or expanding businesses with aid to state and local governments with a huge but temporary effort to rebuild our nation's infrastructure and an extension of expanded unemployment benefits. whether you agree with these policies or hate them, you think they're exactly the wrong thing for the economy, they are, if nothing else, clearly connected to the current state of the economy, they are ideas to get people back to work now, to get money in people's pockets now, to reward businesses for hiring new workers now. no democrat was running around the country talking up state or local aid or vastly expanded unemployment benefits in 2007 or 2004 or 1999, but the same simply cannot be said for mitt romney's plan, and that's because to the great misfortune of the country right now, which needs a good economic debate, the republican party's economic policy thinking is at the moment in shambles. joining us now, jared bernstein, former chief economic adviser to vice president biden, now a senior fellow on budget and
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policies and an msnbc contributor. jared, good to see you as always. >> great to see you and great to listen to you. >> first off, tell me, you're a smart guy, you know how to read this stuff. you've read the plans many times, you know the obama administration's policies very well, and the bush administration's, for that matter. are there major differences between the bush economic agenda and philosophy and what mitt romney's proposed here? >> no, if anything, governor romney doubles down on many of the measures you mentioned. you know, it was interesting, at the end of your discussion, you just said, well, one thing that's different is repealing dodd/frank. that's deregulation, right? that's the hair of the dog that bit you. and the amnesia that's setting in vis-a-vis financial markets -- by the way, i was struck by sandy weill yesterday, former ceo of citigroup, saying, no, actually, all that stuff that he was partially responsible for, it didn't work. so, even some people in the banking sector, greenspan recognizes it. so, this deregulatory
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trickle-down agenda, i particularly thought it was jermaie germane for you to go through all the outcomes, the poverty. it's a doubling down. >> the thing that i think is important, because there's a false equivalency. you always hear we need new economic thinking, and one thing i think impressed me about particularly the clinton err air that's around president obama, in the '90s, the thing that was big is they wanted to balance the budget when a lot of progressives were saying you need to invest, the budget is not the biggest thing, and they were big on deregulation, and they executed basically a 180 flip. they're not saying of course you need to balance the budget eventually or at least cut the deficit eventually, but for now, you need to do more deficit finance stimulus in the short term, more regulation of the financial sector in the short term, at least implement dodd/frank now, because we live in a comment economic moment. am i misreading that? >> it's this whole notion that's embedded in our thinking that somehow republicans are fiscally responsible and democrats aren't
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has been completely flipped on its head by the dynamic you just mentioned. when the economy is growing, the gdp is rising, unemployment's falling, you're moving towards full employment, that's when you want your deficit to come down, as it did under clinton and as it did not decidedly do under bush. there we have structural budget deficits, the kind of budget deficits that grow when they should be shrinking when the economy is expanding, and it's exactly -- at a time like this, you actually want your deficits to be large enough to support the economy given the private sector ongoing weakness. when that private sector comes back online, that's when you want things to go back to normal. if you actually look at what mitt romney's proposing, again, you're just looking at budget deficits as far as the eye can see. >> well, that to me, that is to me the single most annoying part about our economic debate right now, because i think if you asked mitt romney what is different -- and he kind of said this to brian williams -- is it that he is going to cut the debt, cut the deficit, cut spending.
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a looked at his plan and i have read the numbers on it, or at least read from people like you who run the numbers, and i see trillions in tax cuts and $1 trillion in spending, at least, he said a gdp much higher than it is now, and he's got gestures towards spending cuts, but nothing anywhere near the size of what he's promised to spend or stop taxing. so, it doesn't balance the budget. if you believe austerity, it is not austerity. >> exactly. so, that's the roos. and when you look at mitt romney, see, what he's doing in his budget is he's saying i'm taking defense off the table, i'm taking social security off the table, and i'm cutting taxes $5 trillion over bush over ten years. so, that's the doubling down we were talking about before. the only way you do that is if you cut government to a point that is theoretically impossible. so, the arithmetic stands on its head. what sounds fiscally responsible is fiscally deeply irresponsible. >> jared bernstein, msnbc contributor and senior fellow at
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the center on budget and policy priorities. thank you for being here. >> thank you, ezra. what does it say about a candidate leading campaigns on things his opponent has not in fact said? profiles in misleadership, next. plus, the ezra klein challenge number five, the hardest one of all. stick around.
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president obama made a campaign fund-raising trip in california this week, and while there, he talked about how awesome his party's economic
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policies are and how crappy republican economic policies are, like you do. >> i'll cut on the government spending that's not working that we can't afford, but i'm also going to ask anybody making over $250,000 a year to go back to the tax rates they were paying under bill clinton, back when our economy created 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history, and everybody did well. just like we've tried their plan, we've tried our plan, and it worked. that's the difference. that's the choice in this election. that's why i'm running for a second term. >> that's what you say when you're a democrat running for president, you say hey, remember when the economy was great under president clinton? that's what we want to get back to. and remember how the george w. bush administration kind of flushed it down the toilet? those are the same policies mitt
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romney seems in to. for those of you keeping track, it's standard barack obama for president stuff. it's what he always says. it's what he was saying about john mccain in '08, is that bush is tanking the economy and what he's been saying about mitt romney all season long, but the republican party has come up with a new counterattack. here's how it goes. they've posted in their youtube, their own version of president obama's march from monday night, and spoiler alert, the rnc version of the obama argument is missing some words. here's what the republicans posted and shopped around to the media. >> just like we've tried their plan, we've tried our plan, and it worked. that's the difference. that's the choice in this election. that's why i'm running for a second term. >> so, the video is captioned "president obama tells a fund-raiser in oakland, california, that his plan for the economy worked." so, they left out the part of
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the speech the part where he says the clinton economic plan. so it sounds like the president said the economy is fixed totally now. it's not what he said and wouldn't be true. there is an argument that the obama administration policies have worked, had we been in worse shape if not for the t.a.r.p. or stimulus. and we can have that argument another day. that's not the argument he was making monday night, and that's important, because what happened there is that the republican party just grabbed a tiny snippet of the speech and presented it in a way that completely changed the meaning of the words, which is kind of becoming a thing this election year. remember this great moment in creative editing for the mitt romney campaign? >> we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose, lose, lose. >> did obama really say he'd lose if he kept talking about the economy? no. no, he did not. >> senator mccain's campaign actually said, and i quote, "if
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we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose." >> there is also this bit of creative reimagining on mitt romney's part last fall. >> sometimes, i just don't think that president obama understands america. now, i say that because this week, or was it last week, he said that americans are lazy. i don't think that describes america. >> so, did president obama really say the people he's hoping to vote for him are lazy? survey says nope. >> you know, we've been a little bit lazy, i think, over the last couple of decades. we've kind of taken for granted, people want to come here, and we aren't out there hungry selling america and trying to attract new businesses into america. >> so, he did say the word lazy, which in retrospect he probably wishes he hadn't, but he wasn't talking about americans, he was talking about policymakers, washington. i think america probably thinks washington has been a bit lazy. he was talking, essentially, about himself and the town he's
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in, saying more or less the opposite of what mitt romney accused him of having said. the first time this happened, you could maybe imagine it was a fluke. the second time, perhaps a coincidence. at this point, it's looking like creative editing is a core strategy for the republican campaign this cycle. steve bennan writes for "the maddow blog," a producer for the show and msnbc contributor and an all-around terrific guy. steve, thank you for being here. >> thank you, ezra. it's good to be here. >> look, politics ain't beanbag, as they say. it's not like the obama campaign has never been generous with mitt romney's words, but lately, it seems to be the whole campaign, it's all misunderstandings and you didn't build that and our plan worked. that doesn't seem like the strategy you choose when you've actually got a good argument that's resonating with the american people. >> exactly. that's the thing about this that strikes me the most interesting, that in theory, it shouldn't be necessary. in theory, if the president was this radical leftist who had all kinds of crazy, foreign ideas, republicans and the romney campaign would simply take the
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president's comments, things that he actually said, things that he actually did, they'd present it to the public and the american mainstream would just recoil in horror at this radical president, but the fact that they're not doing that, the fact that they're taking comments out of context over and over again suggests that they're not particularly satisfied with the way the facts are presented, where they can use the facts to their advantage. so, they feel like this tactic is the only real avenue they have left for them. >> this is something that's actually struck me about the campaign. it seems the obama campaign has been trying to get as time goes on, more and more specific. in the recent ad, president obama is simply looking at a screen and saying mitt romney's tax plan works this way, cuts taxes on the wealthy most of all, cuts taxes on everybody, there's no way to pay for it. the romney campaign can't say barack obama wants to raise taxes on the wealthy because that's popular, so they have to say he's animated by a radical economic theory in which he doesn't believe that successful people deserve what they have. >> right. >> that is the direction it's
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going in? >> i think that's right. i think that, ultimately, when push comes to shove, there's ample polling data that shows what the president is proposing is actually pretty popular. you mentioned taxes. i think that's an excellent example. there is overwhelming evidence that americans think that asking the very wealthy to pay a little bit more in income of $250,000 is actually pretty popular. romney can't and republican critics in general can't just simply run against that because they don't want to be on the wrong side of public opinion. so, as a result, they have to come up with a fanciful notion of the president's radical ideology that doesn't really exist, but the facts don't cut their way, so they feel like they have no choice but to go in that direction. >> i was trying to think about when i watch this stuff, who is it meant for? and i have a tough time finding in the polling a lot of effect after these gaffs or these kind of ad campaigns. when you talk about the swing voters, who in july of 2012 do not know who they support, seems like you're dealing with people who almost by definition are not folks you can easily convince through attack ads and gaffs and the sort of stuff that makes up
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the political minutia that we deal with every day, because if it did work on them, they'd already be convinced, wouldn't they? >> well, i think that's right. i think that a lot of this is probably going to be considered noise, that come october, early november, the notion that this one quote or another that romney's taken out of context from the president-that be the major story of the day? probably not. i think this is something that helps define the candidates early on and it's probably why the romney campaign has been so aggressive in trying to define the president as a foreign radical, foreign being a word they use quite a bit. but ultimately, i think the state of the economy, the state of world affairs come late fall will have a lot more of an impact on how people vote than the daily nonsense that kind of drives the public detention, the political discussion at this point. >> steve benen, writer for "the maddow blog," show producer and an msnbc contributor, does not believe in nonsense. thank you so much for joining us on tv tonight. >> thank you, ezra. some say there is a limit to how wonky a person can be on
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prime time television. i say that's probably true, but still, "the ezra klein challenge" is next.
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tonight's "ezra klein challenge" is the hardest one yet. i mean, i've got -- this is going to be tough. all right, here's why. the most important thing that happened in the economy today was this incredibly, insanely confusing sentence flashed across bloomberg terminals and every hedge fund and investment bank across the globe --
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"draghi: yields disrupting policy transmission are in ecb remit." this is a sentence, one sentence, or a fragment, that caused a huge stock market rally. it's a sentence that could mean the eurozone is going to survive, and it is a sentence that when i first saw it, i understood three words -- draghi, are and in. but i understand it now, and in two minutes, you're going to understand it, too. all right, do we have a clock? okay, go. let's begin at the beginning here. draghi is mario draghi, it's a guy who runs the european central bank. he's europe's ben bernanke. and as much as the crisis there is anybody's fault, it is his fault and that of his predecessors. they are the ones who control how much money is available. now, the simplest way to understand the euro crisis is that greece and spain and italy and portugal and ireland are having trouble borrowing money. if they can't borrow money, they collapse. if they collapse, the eurozone
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collapses. if the eurozone goes down, the world economy is going to get hurt badly. mario draghi and the european central bank, however, could solve the problem. you see, they can print money. they can print as much of it as they want and then lend it to the struggling countries. spain needs money or we all go under? here, spain, here is money. but they've been saying this is against the rules for them, that they can't lend money like that, and that even if they could, they wouldn't because inflation is scary. but that crazy sentence there, that's them saying they might begin bending the rules, which is exactly what the market has been waiting for them to do. if you translate "yields disrupting policy transmission are in ecb remit" into normal english, it would say something like the eurozone collapsing to the point that we can no longer do our jobs as central bankers is something we have the power to intervene in, and it scares us even more that inflation does. the only catch here is that we don't know how much draghi is now willing to do. that is a very good sentence for the global economy, but a good
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sentence won't save the eurozone, only good policy from the european central bank will do that. all right, did i? i did! 24 seconds left to go. [ female announcer ] so how long have you been living flake-free with head & shoulders? since i should have been engaged...three christmases ago. since before...texting. since my grunge days. remember them? trying not to. [ female announcer ] head & shoulders. live flake free.
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you talk to anyone in washington, and they will tell you the next two rush hour traffic on the beltway and snow, the thing everyone in d.c. fears most is the national rifle association, the nra. the nra is unrivaled in terms of its power to scare and strongarm and shamelessly stick to its guns -- sorry, sorry -- and ultimately, get what it wants. but it was not always this way. in 1969, then president richard nixon, a republican as you may remember, told the late journalist william safire that guns were "an abomination" he said he wanted to make handguns illegal. years later, nixon joined president ronald reagan, also as you might have heard, a republican in support of the brady bill, which the nra stridedly opposed. president george h.w. bush, republican, made it illegal to import assault weapons. there was a time in modern history where you could be a national political figure, a national republican, and be in favor of gun control.
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today, that is about as common as a unicorn riding a dodo bird with the transit of venus flying by in the background. today, even most democrats stay out of the nra's way. why? pick a fight that you are just going to lose. and obama's mostly taken that advice. he hasn't taken that fight. in fact, if you calculate the number of new gun control policies he's advocated in his first term, you come up with one, and that is a negative one, by the way. under obama, there's not been one piece of new control passed on the national level, but there has been an expansion of gun rights. as of 2010, your national parks are now armed. it is now legal to carry loaded weapons into yellowstone and yosemite and acadia and the grand tetons. the obama administration has overseen an expansion, not a contraction of gun rights. even in the wake of last week's horrific shooting in colorado that left 12 people dead and dozens wounded, even then the president indicated that no reassessment of gun laws was necessary.
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that is, until yesterday. the president was in new orleans speaking to the national urban league when he said something that in a normal world would be so rational, so mundane as to not warrant a mention, but in this not-normal world, it is shocking. >> hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage, but i also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that ak-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals. [ applause ] >> criminals shouldn't have guns and maybe an ak-47 isn't necessary for civilian life. these are not shocking ideas, but they are part of a political pattern i've noticed lately, a pattern of the administration shirk i shirking its impulses. for the first three years, the obama administration's basic approach to hot-button issues that impress deep cultural anxieties was to back off. obama was already an african-american president with an unusual name and unusually
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international background and an ambitious policy agenda, but it let at least some sleeping dogs lie. take gay marriage, for example. on gay marriage, there was a belief in the administration that if the president endorsed the idea that gay people should be allowed to marry, it would do much more harm than good, so keep the opposition calm and let the underlying demographics turn in your favor. then, this year, something changed and the president did come out in favor of gay marriage. on the deportation issue, this is what they looked like under the bush administration. they kept going up. when obama came into office, there were many who hoped the trend would reverse. instead, the opposite happened, president obama became the deportation president. he deported more people than any other president ever. history was made, whether you like it or not, is up to you. the administration thought that by ramping up deportations, it would gain enough political capital to get what it really wanted, comprehensive immigration reform or maybe even just the dream act. the administration was wrong.
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it didn't get what it wanted. congress, including a whole lot of republicans who used to support it, voted down the dream act and never came anywhere close on anything bigger. so, this year obama's changed course and acted on his own, announcing the united states would no longer expel kids from the country who come here through no fault of their own. so, that's three, that's a pattern, immigration, gay marriage, guns. my suspicion is that the obama administration found the old strategy wasn't working. they were hiding on these issues, but the people they were hoping to reassure hated and feared them anyway. the nra, for instance, has a website called gun ban obama, where they say "obama would be the most antigun president in american history." how do they deal with the fact that he hasn't proposed any actual antigun legislation? that's easy. they say "he refuses to speak honestly about where he stands. in fact, obama hides behind carefully chosen words and vague statements of support for sportsmen and gun rights to sidestep and camouflage the
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truth." he pretends to be on our side. meanwhile, obama's supporters were frustrated that their president seemed to be hiding behind carefully chosen words and vague statements on these issues, and so the obama administration found it wasn't making anyone very happy. folks on the right saw a liberty-crushing mad man. folks on the left saw, well, it didn't quite look like change they could believe in. and so, the obama administration's changed course. better to stand with your friends than with no one at all. joining us now is the president of the influential center for american progress. she used to work for the obama administration as secretary for health and human services. nura, great to have you here. >> great to be with you, ezra. >> you're a better political mind than i am. do you see a political trend, a change in the way they're treating what would be called cultural issues? >> i would say throughout his history, the president has always believed in the politics of conviction and has believed that when you talk to his people
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honestly about issues, you gain political points, even when they're not totally popular. and now we're in a time where, you know, we're not trying to pass legislation particularly on the hill. everything is literally ground to a halt. and so, he has the ability to talk honestly about these issues. and truthfully, after a situation like aurora, for him not to mention it at all i think raised questions with people. and you know, he took this from the perspective that was very much common sense and cited gun owners themselves, which i think was a smart move. >> and when you sort of step back, i kind of hate to do the cynical washington thing and say, well, it's all about an election, it's all about changing turnout patterns and who will actually come to the polls, but you sort of say the politics of conviction, but for three years, we weren't here. and one thing that's been striking about the issues he's chosen here and particularly true on immigration and gay marriage, is that they polled much better among younger americans. and so, i do sort of wonder if they're looking at these polls about saying who's excited to
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vote and saying at a moment, we have to excite people with conviction, it is showing that we are on their side. >> well, look, i do think the challenge here is congress, and it's truthfully been congress on both sides, democrats and republicans. and i do think in the beginning of the administration, the president had a lot of legislation before congress and he made a conscious decision, passing health care was an important thing and that other things would go to the side, and that was, in my view, the right thing to do, because that will be transformative legislation when it comes -- when it's fully implemented. and so, i don't think this should be seen as politics or trying to appease one. it can't really be the case that something is a political loser and a political winner. it really is one or the other, and i think in this case, the president was smart to say, look, this is a common-sense measure, gun owners are with me. it might be a politically different thing to do, but a lot of those people are going to vote against me anyway and i'm just going to tell it like it is, because otherwise, people think of me as a normal politician, and that hurts him more than anything else. >> but you guys at c.a.p. have
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an event coming up, or just recently happened on the nra. >> yes. >> about whether or not they are politically influential. tell me, are they as politically influential as people think they are? >> no. we had an event actually, we did a poll with frank lintz's poll, and he polled nra members, and nra members overwhelmingly believe that we should have background checks that criminals shouldn't be able to just buy guns, that people that have histories of mental health challenges shouldn't be able to just purchase guns, you know. so, and what was really heartening is the president recognized that it's really gun members, people who have guns, nra members, the broad swath of americans believe in common-sense measures, and i think that really helps show the extreme of the other side. >> neera tanden, president for the center for american progress, thank you so much for being here tonight. >> great to be with you, as
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always. they say in the middle of disaster is opportunity, right? well, guess what? we are in the middle of a disaster, the worst in 50 years. we have got a once in a generation chance to do something heroic. that is next.
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heroes, parades and much-deserved displays of gratitude, just ahead. [ feedback ] attention, well, everyone. you can now try snapshot from progressive free for 30 days. just plug this into your car, and your good driving can save you up to 30%. you could even try it without switching your insurance. why not give it a shot? carry on. now you can test-drive snapshot before you switch. visit progressive.com today.
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first, a brief correction. last night on the show, we showed you a pair of satellite images taken by nasa of
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greenland four days apart. we mistakenly said that the images showed the ice sheet melting and was almost all gone. that was incorrect. the surface of the ice sheet melted. the rest, of course, is still frozen. what we got right is that these pictures are very scary, and so is this picture. a passenger jet in washington, d.c., this month with its wheels stuck in the overheated tarmac-softened pavement. chocolate chip cookies are supposed to be gooey. runways are not supposed to be gooey. also scary, roads that have buckled in the summer's record heat. pavement has buckled in nebraska, iowa, virginia, in oklahoma, illinois and texas, it is a mess. taking the train instead? yeah, sure, unless the track has gone all kinky from the heat. and remember last summer how flooding threatened a nuclear power plant in nebraska in that record hot year? this month, a nuclear plant in illinois had to get special permission to keep running because the extreme heat outside had driven up temperatures in
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the cooling pond. last month, the freak-out derecho storm hit the mid-atlantic. i had never heard of a derecho, the kind of weather i never thought we could have until it took down trees and power lines from ohio and virginia to new jersey. tonight we have more severe weather from the midwest to the northeast where it looks like ghostbusters outside with reports of tornadoes and power outages and general anxiety. stuck as we are in this record heat, we have no way of telling yet whether we're looking at this weird weather which is temporary or rather what we're seeing is genuine climate change happening around us. what we do know is that human behavior is affecting the climate. we do know that we're seeing at least a preview of a climate change future where the weather will not just be hotter, but stranger and more extreme with droughts and floods and more bits of our national infrastructure not working quite right anymore. "the new york times" today considered the many examples of infrastructure fail this summer. along with some efforts to improve infrastructure so we're
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ready, so we don't get as many busted highways and train tracks and headlines about nuclear power plants going down, those upgrades cost money. they cost billions of dollars, and this congress has been reluctant to spend on infrastructure, especially, but not only republicans who keep calling for austerity. from a purely pragmatic standpoint, this drives me crazy. the global economy is horrible, unemployment is high, we've got lts of people sitting out of work when they could be productively in the labor force building things. and amidst all the gloom, we have one huge advantage, one economy-changing opportunity, and we have it because we are america, because everyone wants to invest in us, because we are the gold standard of gold standard investments, we can do a tip-to-tail overhaul of our roads and bridges and power systems and we could do it for less money than we will ever be able to do it for again, and we can do it in a way that helps the economy both now and in the future. the way the government borrows
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money is through bonds. we sell bonds and call them treasuries. the loans last for different amounts of time. so you've got five-year treasuries and ten-years and so on. people lend the government money and the interest we pay those people is the yield. you loan the government $1,000 for five years, say, and at the end of that time, the government pays you back that $1,000, plus the yield. so, if the yield is 10%, the government pays you back $1,100, thereby. this is a document the treasury department keeps, called the real yield curve, yields after accounting for inflation. you see all those minus signs? they mean people are lending us money once you account for inflation, at negative interest. they are paying us to hold on to their money safely because we are america and the world is scary right now and we are not scary. they're loaning us that $1,000 for that five years knowing they'll get less than that back. this is an awesome deal. if a corporation got this deal, they would be jumping for joy. if bain capital could borrow at
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these rates, they would buy everything in the economy, but they can't. only americacan. and we can take that money and use it to rebuild our infrastructure, which would help put our economy in the long run and put people back to work now. growing the economy, of course, makes debt much less painful, and it's cheap anyway, with people paying for the privilege of lending us money. so, really, the time for investing in our infrastructure is now, right now. doing anything less isn't just missing an opportunity, it is financial mismanagement on an epic scale. we know a place where tossing and turning have given way to sleeping. where sleepless nights yield to restful sleep. and lunesta can help you get there, like it has for so many people before. when taking lunesta, don't drive or operate machinery
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until you feel fully awake. walking, eating, driving, or engaging in other activities while asleep, without remembering it the next day, have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations or confusion. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. alcohol may increase these risks. allergic reactions, such as tongue or throat swelling, occur rarely and may be fatal. side effects may include unpleasant taste, headache, dizziness and morning drowsiness. ask your doctor if lunesta is right for you. then find out how to get lunesta for as low as $15 at lunesta.com. there's a land of restful sleep. we can help you go there on the wings of lunesta.
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i'm glad you're home!
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hi, daddy! >> back in the spring, the first brigade combat team from the minnesota national guard's 34th infantry division, nicknamed the red bulls, returned home to minnesota after a year-long deployment to iraq and kuwait. the redbulls played a key end in the war, getting the supplies and troops out of the country, and now they are all back home in the u.s., and this weekend, they and other veterans of the wars in iraq and afghanistan will get a great, big, much-deserved public thank-you from the people of minnesota. thanks to a fund-raising and organizing effort from a grassroots group in minneapolis and st. paul, the twin cities heroes parade is set for this saturday, july 28th, starting at 11:00 a.m. making minneapolis and st. paul the latest in an ever growing list of american cities hosting welcome home parades. it began in st. louis in january, and since then, there have been welcome home parades
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in houston, tucson, north carolina, richmond, virginia, kansas city, missouri, austin, texas, and portsmouth, new hampshi hampshire. and now the twin cities and minnesota. this latest parade was originally supposed to happen in april, but you remember those redbulls? they weren't all home yet, and their friends and family and the military reached out to organizers to see if they could please wait. so they did. tomorrow, vintage warplanes will fly overhead as veterans of the wars in iraq and afghanistan and their families march through downtown minneapolis. there will be face-painting for the kids, mascots from local hockey and baseball teams and music. and for the veterans themselves, a resources area, a whole bunch of organizations gathered in one place to help hook veterans up with information and services like applying for tax credits, filing a claim with the va or finding a job. so, this weekend in minnesota, it is welcome home to iraq veterans and all post-9/11 veterans are getting a